Chara scores twice as Bruins blank Flames

Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara has the reputation of being a huge Norris Trophy-winning top shut-down defenseman in the NHL.
Now, he's getting a different reputation -- as a power play specialist.
The 6-foot-9 Chara, who often sets up in front of the opposing goaltender on the power play, scored two power-play goals and netminder Tuukka Rask turned aside 21 shots for his third shutout of the season to lead the Boston Bruins a 2-0 over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
"He's been scoring some huge goals for our team on the power play," center David Krejci, who assisted on both goals, said of Chara. "We obviously recognize that and we know he has a big body, he knows how to tip the pucks and we're trying to use him as much as we can.
"We're just trying to get the puck on net and we know if Z's there, then good things happen."
Chara's goals both came with left winger Lance Bouma in the penalty box -- two separate high-sticking infractions against defenseman Kevan Miller totaling all six Calgary penalty minutes in the game. One goal was a one-time blast from the side, the other was a rebound from directly in front of Flames goaltender Reto Berra.
"He's one of the best players in the league," said Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano. "He wins the Norris for a reason, and I thought, you want to play him in his own zone, but he's so good in all zones. I think offensively he's a threat because he's a big shot and he can play in front. You saw with that last goal, I was right there, but it's tough to get inside on him once he gets that puck, and he just sort of pushes it into the empty net."
"I'm just trying to work hard and be there for loose pucks, creating traffic and finding some openings," Chara said.
The win allowed the Bruins to bounce back from a 6-2 pasting they suffered in Vancouver on Saturday night.
"I was just trying not to get pulled twice in a row," said Rask, who earned his 19th career shutout on Tuesday.
The second win over the Flames in eight days lifted the Bruins to an 11-3-1 mark in their last 15 games and 11-0-2 in their last 13 at home.
Right winger Jarome Iginla, the former Flames captain, also assisted on both goals.
The Flames came in having not scored a goal in Boston since Oct. 19, 2006. But the shutout streak, because of scheduling, was just 129:36, and that really didn't impress Calgary coach Bob Hartley.
"Elvis is dead and the Beatles broke up," Hartley said before the game.
His team then went out and was blanked for the third straight full game in Boston. The streak is now 189:36.
There was one stretch bridging the first and second periods that saw the Flames go without an even-strength shot for 23:33.
"I think maybe we were trying to get a little too fancy and we've just got to keep it simple," said rookie center Sean Monahan.
NOTES: With heavy snow falling outside, the crowd was slow to arrive, but the TD Garden filled up as the night went on. ... The Bruins beat Calgary for the fifth straight time. ... Calgary C Mike Cammalleri was sent back to the hotel during the morning skate because of an illness and didn't play. The last time he visited Boston, while with the Montreal Canadiens, he was traded to Calgary during the game. ... Bruins RW Jarome Iginla played against his former team despite a dislocated left ring finger suffered in a fight in Vancouver last Saturday. ... Bruins RW Shawn Thornton will appeal his 15-game suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. If the appeal is denied, then he can go to arbitration. ... The Flames continue their five-game road trip at Detroit Thursday, while the Bruins are in Buffalo the same night, the start of a home-and-home that moves to Boston Saturday. ... The Bruins recalled winger Craig Cunningham Monday, and he made his NHL debut, with RW Matt Fraser joining the lengthy Boston injured list, despite skating in the warmup. ... The Bruins, in their 90th year, are honoring past decades. Tuesday night, it was the 80s, with Terry O'Reilly dropping the first puck.